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Shoulder Pain when Jerking


Another beginner question....

Do your shoulders get used to the pain and will it later be gone? The faster I drive the bar up, the sharper the pain is and this makes me reluctant to learn/perform the jerk sometimes (like today). Should I avoid exercises which work the shoulders (press, bench, etc) or should I do them instead (now I do them after the main lifts)?

My thumbs used to be painful and swollen when I did snatches but thankfully they have toughen up. I really hope the same will happen to my shoulders!


there are many pains that have happened to me(and I imagine most lifters) when doing something new that just go away with time. It's hard to distinguish if its just a pain that will go away eventually or if there's something wrong. You should ask your coach if you have one or ask someone here who knows more about medical stuff.

Does overhead pressing hurt your shoulders or is it just the swift jerk motion that does? If it doesn't hurt them I'd try doing lots of sets and reps at a relatively slow pace and not going to failure(as in, max weight possible, something more like 80% of what you'd be able to do). See how your shoulders feel then.


"lordstorm88 wrote:

Does overhead pressing hurt your shoulders or is it just the swift jerk motion that does?"

Slow controlled motion doesn't hurt but swift jerk - yes.

BTW did you have shoulder pain when first starting?


I don't remember to be honest. I definitely had pain in my arms or shoulders at some points which went away eventually.


Does push-pressing hurt?


Yes if I do it fast enough like a jerk.

The effect is actually not sudden, I mean let's say after 30 mins of c&j then my shoulders start to hurt. I think the pain is cumulative but my shoulders are actually OK outside training. If I want to know whether they are OK or not, the pain can be reproduced by holding my arms straight and then bring them to the back of my head. I think that means "injury" because sharp pain in certain ROM = "injury", no?


As 'pain' can describe a number of conditions, it's impossible for anyone to know exactly what to suggest. However I distinguish between fatigue/uncomfortableness and actual pain, and consider any pain in my shoulders a problem.

Eric Cressy's 3 part article on shoulder health helped me. I've implemented some of his exercises (which emphasise working on under-used shoulder/back muscles) and they have helped my shoulders to gain better flexibility and stability.




Plus the work is high rep with little load, so they don't really interrupt normal training.

It takes 10 min to do a few (10-15 rep) sets of a couple of movements.

I have found the wall slides very helpful.


I had some pain in my shoulders when i Jerked but slow movements were fine, i think it was caused by a bad form. make sure you have good shoulder mobility and get form down also my shoulders always seem to do the best when i throw in a few pull ups a couple times a week.


Thanks yarni for the links, actually I've been reading Cressey's articles since making this thread lol. I also like his works, though unfortunately some of the technical bits often lost to me.

BTW the sharp shoulder pain is located near the top of the acromicon if my terminology is correct.


@ boldar

How do you know if your shoulders are flexible/mobile enough?


well the best way is to find a good trainer, physical therapist or chiropractor to watch you and tell you, a chiropractor would probably be the easiest, but might run a pretty penny. one of my favorite ways to test is to lay on your back with a stick and your hands in jerk width. with straight arms try to put the stick on the ground without moving your back at all, if you can do that you'll shoulders are probably flexible/mobile enough. if you have good body awareness you can easily do it yourself if not it might be some help to have someone watch to see if your back moves at all.